Thursday, January 12, 2012

'Poem for Orchestra' of William Grant Still Performed by Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra on YouTube

[Afro-American Symphony; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Karl Kruger, conductor; Bridge 9086 (1999)]

On a YouTube video uploaded January 11, 2012, Maestro John McLaughlin Williams conducts the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra in a live performance of William Grant Still's Poem for Orchestra (10:36):

“A live performance of one of William Grant Still's major orchestral works by John McLaughlin Williams, Conductor, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra. An interesting feature of the Poem is the heightened intensity of expression, particularly in the first half of the work. Still is thought of as a primarily lyrical composer, yet he was capable of creating dramatic passages of febrile impact. Still's wife, Verna Arvey, described the Poem as 'inspired by the concept of a world being reborn spiritually after a period of darkness and desolation', which is in keeping with the dark and foreboding mood established at the beginning of this work. In the Poem Still creates a climax of nearly expressionistic angst, and through the concluding melodic section the composer maintains an underlying feeling of uncertainty. That Still had an individual and original compositional voice is undeniable, and through this somewhat uncharacteristic work the composer's voice shines through magnificently. [WilliamGrant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma,

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